| Oct 27, 2005

Feature Article - October 27, 2005

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Feature Article

October 27, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Police investigate malicious oil spill

by Jeff Green

The quite village of Tichborne was the site of some nasty mischief last week. A fuel line was cut between a full oil tank and a furnace in the basement of a vacant house that was about to be sold. The oil was then pumped by a sump pump into the ground behind the house, where it soaked into the soil and seeped into an adjacent pond.

The house is owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, who had taken possession of the house sometime this year, and had put it up for sale. Recently the bank accepted an offer of $36,000 for the house, a small work shed, and a small lot. In accordance with normal practice, the bank paid to have the oil tank filled in preparation for the deal closing late last week.


Scott’s Environmental Services received a call about the oil spill at 10:15 a.m. last Tuesday. Crews were on site by 11:00 and they were able to stop the oil from spreading beyond the pond behind the house, according to company President George Scott.

“Because we were on scene quickly and built dykes right away, we are able to say there will be no effect downstream from the spill,” George Scott told the News.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has been monitoring the spill and the cleanup, and an official said that, “no long-term impacts are anticipated. An intensive cleanup is now underway to address impacts to surface water, soil and sediment in the affected area.”

The OPP was informed of the spill late on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 18, and began an investigation. The investigation continues, but no charges had been laid as of early this week.

The sale of the house was scheduled to close on Thursday, October 20, but as Doug Nugent, the realtor who listed the property for the CIBC, said, “No one would go ahead and purchase the property under these circumstances. You have to wonder what the people who cut that furnace line were thinking. There wasn’t much point to it, was there?”

Clean up costs at the site will be covered by the CIBC. It was estimated by a member of the Scott’s Environmental Services crew that the cleanup could take weeks, even months. He would not speculate about the cost, but one week after the spill took place, a five-member crew was still on site, as were several large pieces of equipment. A 24-hour guard has also been posted at the house by Scott’s.

Some of the neighbors speculated that the house itself might have to be torn down.

This is not the first criminal act in recent times that has been connected to this property. It was the location of a party that preceded a drunk driving accident that left three men seriously injured off Road 38 south of Sharbot Lake.

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